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Landfilling in Europe

In the European Union, Directive 1999/31/EC on Landfill of Waste is one of the most important waste policies; the objective of the Directive is to prevent or reduce as far as possible negative effects on surface water, groundwater, soil, air and human health from the landfilling of waste. The Directive establishes stringent technical requirements for the authorization, design, operation, closure and aftercare of landfills, specific targets for 2006, 2009 and 2016 in the reduction of biodegradable fractions of MSW going to landfill, as well as the prohibition of materials to be accepted in landfills.

With approximately 45 percent of the total municipal waste sent to landfills, landfilling is still EU’s predominating waste management activity (Figure 1). A big difference exists between the landfilling statistics between EU-15 and EU-10 member states. While about 80 percent of the MSW is sent to landfills in the new member states, in the old member states this number goes down below 40 percent.


Figure 1: Treatment of municipal waste in Euope, a comparison between data from 1995 and 2005 [EFTA: European Free Trade Association; EECCA: Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia] (Eurostat 2007)

All new EU members are forced to transpose European Legislation into their national waste laws. By doing so, the EU-10 members will follow the EU-15 trend in the future years and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills as well as regulating the type of waste that is sent to landfills. The new member states are expected to advance on their waste management techniques and decrease the use of landfills.

See Also

Landfill Gas Utilization
Professional articles about: landfills on their way to gas utilisation and renaturation

Biological Stabilization of the Teuftal Landfill in Switzerland
© Lehrstuhl für Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2014)
The Teuftal landfill, located in the canton Bern, is considered the largest sanitary landfi ll in Switzerland. Since 40 years both, municipal solid waste (MSW), construction and demolition waste, bottom ashes, flue gas cleaning residues as well as industrial waste are disposed of in different landfill sections. Untreated MSW of relatively high organic content has been landfilled in particular between 1973 and 2000 on an area of approximately 12 hectare, subdivided into 3 sectors.

An Extensive Environmental Protection Program During the Bonfol Landfill Remediation
© Lehrstuhl für Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2014)
The industrial waste landfill at Bonfol in the Canton of Jura, Switzerland, is a heritage of our past. The chemical industry of Basle, amongst others, dumped its production waste in a former clay pit during 15 years before the landfi ll was closed in 1976 with a clay cap. Today, the organizational and technical challenge consists in excavating nearly 175,000 tons of hazardous waste material under high safety and environmental protection measures.

MBT-Landfill as Carbon Sink – Expected Carbon Content after Aeration
© Lehrstuhl für Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2014)
Target of MBT (mechanical biological treatment of wastes) is to mineralise and to stabilise waste organic matter. This leads to a reduction of emissions after landfi lling the pretreated wastes. It is well known, that MBT-landfills can be seen as a carbon sink, but there is a deficit in knowledge about the time frame respectively which share of organic carbon will remain in the landfill over long period.

Former Tannery Waste Disposal Site – Excavation of Intense Odour Waste
© Lehrstuhl für Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2014)
The contaminated site ST19 (Gerbereideponie Schmidt), a former tannery waste disposal site, is situated in the southern part of the city of Weiz (Styria, Austria). The area is split up into two parts by a main road passing the landfill.

In-situ Aeration: Performance Control after 5 Years on a Municipal Solid Waste Landfill
© Lehrstuhl für Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2014)
By converting anaerobic landfills into an aerobic, biologically stabilised state through accelerating organic matter degradation, the time and effort necessary for post-closure management can be shortened. In-situ landfill aeration is thereby a promising cost-efficient treatment method to significantly reduce environmentally relevant and current emissions from existing municipial solid waste landfills (MSW), to stabilise the organic waste material, and to reduce the Emission potential.

Aeration of the Landfill Pill; Effects on Groundwater Contamination
© Lehrstuhl für Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2014)
At the former landfill Pill in Tyrol, Austria groundwater contamination was caused by high Ammonium loads of up to 20 mg/l. Biodegradable nitrogen was specified as the cause of groundwater pollution by ammonium. However, other substances were hardly noticeable. Ammonium is generated within the landfill body through anaerobic decomposition of organic matter.

Deformation Analysis of the Landfill “Rautenweg“ using 3D-Finite Element Modelling
© Lehrstuhl für Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2014)
The landfi ll Rautenweg is the largest landfill in Austria and operated by the city of Vienna. The landfi ll is sealed by so-called “Wiener Dichtwandkammersystem“ (Vienna Cutt-Off Chamber). The system comprises two parallel diaphragm walls embedded into the impermeable stratum by 25 m. Counterfort are placed between the two diaphragm walls in regular intervals.

Verification and Control of Geotextiles According to DVO and ÖN S 2082
© Lehrstuhl für Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2014)
The Austrian landfill regulation DVO 2008 and its attachments generally admit to use geosynthetics as an alternative to mineral components used as sealing or drainage elements. The requirements needed to proof equivalency are described for each landfi ll class separately. Paragraph 5 and 6 and attachment 3 of the DVO defi ne the appropriate minimum requirements or limit values respectively.

Water Balance of Layered Mineral Landfill Cover
© Lehrstuhl für Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2014)
According to the presented monitoring system, the functionality of the individual components of the temporary surface cover system in Rastorf (Schleswig-Holstein) can be permanently monitored and evaluated under in-situ conditions.

Application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Technologies in Design and Operation of Landfills
© Lehrstuhl für Abfallverwertungstechnik und Abfallwirtschaft der Montanuniversität Leoben (11/2014)
Design and construction as well as the managing of landfills rely on a variety of land surveying data as well as other geo-information. For the design phase the suitability of the specific site acc. to the criteria defined in the Austrian landfill ordinance, knowledge of the topography as well as the boundary conditions with regard of immission control for neighbours require utmost attention.

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Waste-to-Energy (WtE) facility

Renergia, a brand new Waste-to-Energy (WtE) facility opened in Canton Lucerne, shows that Waste-to-Energy can provide reliable heat for industries.

Category: Incineration / Waste-to-Energy plant
Executing firm: Renergia Zentralschweiz AG

MBT Ljubljana, Slovenia

In Slovenia arises one of the largest and most modern waste treatment plants in Europe.

Category: Recycling / MBT
Executing firm: STRABAG AG

Flue Gas Cleaning

The final unit of the incineration plant is one of the most important parts as it has the objective of cleaning the air pollutants produced.

Category: Incineration
Executing firm: ete.a - Ingenieurgesellschaft für Energie– und Umweltengineering & Beratung mbH

Batch Dry Fermentation

The biogas produced from the waste can be converted in a CHP to electrical and thermal energy or fed as processed bio-methane into the natural gas grid or used as fuel (CNG).

Category: Recycling / Fermentation
Executing firm: BEKON Energy Technologies Co. & KG

MBT Warsaw, Poland

The Bio-Dry™ system is a static, aerated and flexibly enclosed reactor for the biological drying of various solid waste matters containing some biodegradable contents.

Category: Recycling / MBT
Executing firm: Convaero GmbH

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